Wedding bells in your future? Before you say “I do,” make sure you’ve had a conversation around how you’ll manage finances. After all, there is a lot to consider. Are you a saver and they’re a spender? Should you opt for joint bank accounts or individual bank accounts? What about setting aside funds for retirement savings? You may even need to consider if a prenuptial agreement is the right path for you and your partner.
These conversations are tough but critical. Here’s some paths to consider to get you started. Maintain open and honest communication about your financial lives and money issues. Be frank about existing debt and liabilities, including credit card debt. Talk about future financial goals and the financial decisions you'll make together, such as your retirement plans.
If you’re opting for this route, you also should consider the implications of closing old financial obligations and merging credit card accounts. For example, closing credit accounts could impact one partner’s credit score, while adding a partner as an authorized user may positively increase their score.
Another option is to split things up. In this approach, one person may pay the rent while the other pays for utilities. You could also split expenses completely, with each partner contributing their share. This ensures equal contribution if that approach makes sense for your marriage.
A Hybrid Approach
There are elements of combining finances and of keeping them separate that may make sense to use together. In this approach, you’d set up a joint account for household bills and mutually agreed-upon expenses such as a down payment on a home while individually managing your separate accounts for other expenses.
This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.